Saturday, February 17, 2007

Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Enforces "Slow Down Move Over"

For the past two years, I have lived on East Hwy 26, towards Mt. Hood. I have seen two dog from our family get hit, heard stories of children, friends, pedestrians trying to cross, (there is a whole community living among the trees out here, even though you can’t really see us! We’re not talking tree-hugging hairy hippies, either; we’re talking about lawyers, doctors, business owners, teachers, and many other professionals.) The Mt. Hood Corridor is a thriving community of villages, and it’s really sad that people don’t care enough about life, human or otherwise, that they zoom through the mountain areas at speeds upwards of 75 miles an hour! The speed limit starts off at a low 25 mph in Sandy. Once outside of Sandy, there is a long stretch where the limit is 55 mph until you get just west of Welches, where the speed limit drops down to 45 mph until you leave Rhododendron, then it is again raised to 55 mph. I’m amazed almost on a daily basis that there are drivers who will honk and swerve to avoid a car that is moving at the proper speed limit.

One of the rules of the road out here is that when there is an emergency vehicle on the side of the road, drivers are supposed to move to the farther lane, so that there is a “safety cushion” between you and the emergency vehicle, and if you can’t move over, you’re to slow down. But many drivers don’t do either, putting lives in serious danger. Police officers put their lives on the line every day, but most don’t realize how dangerous a routine stop can become. When it comes to stopping on the side of the road, it’s a little known danger that these officers face each and every time they pull someone over.

Maybe you’ve heard the saying, “It’s not you I’m worried about, it’s the other drivers that scare me.” The saying is true for officers of the law as well. Unfortunately the uniform doesn’t protect them from drivers coming too close to them while they are parked on the roadside. It becomes our responsibility, as we share the road, to help protect those who are on the side of the road, either law enforcement, or travelers with car trouble, we should help keep the road safe. It’s not just robberies, gunfire, and public mayhem that are dangers that police officers are facing, but another threat. It is a danger not only on the city streets, but on the highways and freeways as well. It is one of the few dangers that officers face every time they pull someone over. It is the danger of being hit by a passing car. Drivers must follow certain laws when sharing the road with an emergency vehicle whose lights are flashing. Multnomah County Sheriffs are collectively trying to bring awareness to the danger that drivers put emergency vehicle drivers in when they don’t follow the laws. Read more on the laws here.

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Blogging the local Mt Hood area of Oregon. With skiing, snowboarding, hiking, shopping, wind surfing, live bands, resorts, movies, and much more to do, you'll never be bored in the Mount Hood area.